Between faith and folklore

san Nicola

Bari prepares itself to live a week full of important events. The city centre, on 7, 8, and 9 May, will host the feast of Saint Nicola, an event that every year attracts thousands devoted to the Bishop of Myra. It re-enacts the episode of 1087 when sailors from Bari translated the Saint’s bones to Bari from the Turkish city of Myra which was besieged by infidels; the relics are still kept in the famous Basilica.

The key moments are: the 7 May procession at 6 pm in which the statue is brought in a boat and arrives to the Saint Nicola dock; at 9 pm the nocturnal historic parade following the Caravel, with over 500 walk-on roles in costume and the image of the Saint that arrives to the Basilica, the torchlight procession, the flag-waving parade and folkloristic groups; then on the 8 there is the sea procession at 10 am, which brings the statue of the Saint to the offing in a trawler; the statue touches land at 8 pm and is brought in procession with fireworks to mark the conclusion.

On 9 May, at 6 pm, liturgical celebrations begin in the Basilica, and at 10:30 the feast concludes with the much awaited fireworks.

Next week’s event is 13 days before the celebrations of the Russian Orthodox devotees of Saint Nicola, whom we will welcome, as has now become a tradition, at Bari’s Palace Hotel.

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